Two Michigan men were arraigned late Monday afternoon and ordered to be held in the Monroe County jail on two felony counts each pertaining to dogfighting.
Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Mark Braunlich ordered Willie Fletcher, 32, of Detroit, to be held in lieu of $150,000 bond, while bond was set at $25,000 for James Broome, 32, of Belleville.
The men, who were arrested early Sunday, face charges of attending a dog fight and bringing a dog to the event for fighting purposes. Another 23 people who were arrested during the same incident were expected to be arraigned at 11 a.m. Tuesday.
Federal and local investigators arrested people from five states early Sunday and seized dogs, cash, drugs, and a handgun during the raid of a suspected dogfighting ring that Monroe County authorities said was the largest they could remember.
The arrests were made when authorities, acting on information obtained in a federal investigation, executed a search warrant at 527 Ida-Maybee Rd. in Raisinville Township, about 2 miles north of Ida and 9 miles west of Monroe.
Jerry Bugg, 58, owns the property where the dogs were seized. After he lost his job at an auto plant about five years ago, he moved to the Cincinnati area and has rented the home since then.
He told The Blade on Monday that he rented the home to a single mother with two daughters about a year and a half ago.
That woman, Pamela Jeanne Cole, 44, sent him text messages Sunday after the arrests saying that she was not at the residence during the raid and had given permission to her boyfriend to host a bachelor party at the home.
“I am ...shaken by all of this,” Mr. Bugg said. “My wife and I are sick. We are just devastated.”
He said that Ms. Cole has two pets — an English bulldog and a Pomeranian — and that when he visited the home six or eight months ago, the boyfriend had a dog tied up outside the home.
Monroe County Detective Heath Velliquette said the suspects were holding an actual fight with dogs in a ring in an attached garage when deputies and Michigan State Police entered the house about 1:35 a.m.
Ten suspects were detained in the garage, while others were apprehended after fleeing the residence upon the officers’ arrival. The sheriff’s office K-9 Team was used to track the eight who fled, all of whom were believed to have been involved in the dogfight, he said.